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Bushiri blames the media for 'tainted reputation'

Shepherd Bushiri, who rose to fame in recent years for his lavish lifestyle and subsequent allegations of money laundering, is blaming the media for his tainted reputation.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. Picture: Facebook

BRAAMFONTEIN - Controversial pastor Shepherd Bushiri, the leader of a church where three people died in a stampede, says he is a target of a smear campaign by the media.

Bushiri, who is the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering, is appearing before the CRL Rights Commission on Monday in Braamfontein after the deaths sparked massive protests and calls for the church to shut down.

He maintains all safety measures were applied.

Bushiri, who rose to fame in recent years for his lavish lifestyle and subsequent allegations of money laundering, is blaming the media for his tainted reputation.

The pastor challenged journalists to prove controversial statements attributed to him such as, “selling the blood of Jesus and his wife being pregnant of the holy spirit”.

“We are pleading with the media to provide facts,” he said.

While referring to last year’s stampede in which three women died and at least 17 other congregants were injured, the self-proclaimed prophet says he was saddened by the incident.

He has also dismissed claims that the church secretly tried to cover its tracks by taking the bodies to private mortuaries and then continued with the church service.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)